Japan sees most bankruptcies of nursing care providers since 2000

Bankruptcies of nursing care providers across Japan hit their highest level last year since 2000.

Credit research firm Tokyo Shoko Research says 143 care providers went bankrupt in 2022.

The figure marks a 1.7-fold increase from a year earlier. It is up by 25 from the previous record of 118 set in 2020.

The total amount of liabilities held by those businesses also hit a record-high 22.1 billion yen, or more than 170 million dollars.

Businesses with fewer than 10 employees account for more than 80 percent of the bankruptcies.

Tokyo Shoko Research says these businesses' incomes fell because the spread of COVID-19 caused people to stop using nursing care services. It says the surge in commodity, energy and fuel prices also squeezed their finances.

The research firm says if these trends continue, more nursing care providers could go under, as the competition to hire personnel is intensifying amid a staff shortage in the industry. It says this may lead to more people being unable to receive services they need.